landlocked ken (prefecture), southern Honshu, Japan, containing Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. The lake and surrounding mountainous district form Lake Biwa Quasi-national Park. The prefecture's percentage of rice paddies is among the highest in Japan, and its Omi beef is well known throughout Japan. The textile industries at Otsu, the prefectural capital, Hikone, and Nagahama are dependent on Lake Biwa's water. Area 1,551 square miles (4,016 square km). Pop. (1992 est.) 1,246,000.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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